I Hope, Lord

Waiting and watching. Every parent knows this drill. When your child is ill, teased, bullied, about to make a bad decision, misses the catch that loses the game, etc., that is your job: to wait and watch. Parenting comes with a certain amount of sleepless nights. The bad news is, this is not confined to their early years. I have friends who are preparing to send their kids off to college in the middle of a pandemic. They are walking the kitchen floorboards at 3 AM just like they did when those children were babies. Waiting and watching.

As a world community, we are also waiting and watching. A deadly virus that was supposed to be gone by now has mutated into an even deadlier virus. Hospitals are filling up again and non-COVID cases are having to wait and watch longer than they should due to the overcrowding of COVID patients. A friend’s daughter had to wait for a room for several hours longer than expected after a surgery because of this. Others are being turned away from their local Emergency Rooms for lack of beds.

Waiting and watching.

Psalm 130 is known as a penitential psalm, and is part of a collection of psalms of ascents that were sung by Hebrew pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. It appears in Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant liturgies, and has been set to music by several composers. It is known as a song that is used in times of “communal distress.” How appropriate then, for us to study it today.

Psalm 130 (Common English Bible)

I cry out to you from the depths, Lord—
my Lord, listen to my voice!
    Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy!
If you kept track of sins, Lord—
    my Lord, who would stand a chance?
But forgiveness is with you—
    that’s why you are honored.

I hope, Lord.
My whole being hopes,
    and I wait for God’s promise.
My whole being waits for my Lord—
    more than the night watch waits for morning;
    yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!

Israel, wait for the Lord!
    Because faithful love is with the Lord;
    because great redemption is with our God!
He is the one who will redeem Israel
    from all its sin.

This is a song that is meant to comfort the discomforted. The beauty of the language of hope overrides the lament about waiting. The psalmist pleads for God to hear his request for mercy, and then reminds God of his forgiving nature. He reminds us that we, too, can wait for God’s promises.

What are you waiting for? What keeps you awake at night? Remember this, as you pace: God’s faithful love will redeem you, and in fact will redeem the world. So take comfort, all who wait. God hears our cries from the depths, and is coming to save us.

Our hope is in you, Lord.

Hope Rises by Michelle Robertson


Raise your hand if you like to wait! Yeah, me neither.

We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to waiting. I know someone with a very low tolerance for wanting in line. His tolerance is SO low, he actually mentally calculates how many people are in each check-out line at the store, selects the one he thinks is the fastest, changes lines if he spots one moving faster, and then…I’m being serious here…calculates where we WOULD have been if we had chosen a different line.

Nobody likes to wait.

In Psalm 130, the psalmist is also waiting. He describes his waiting period as being in the “depths.” He is crying out to be heard. He begs God to listen:

Psalm 130 (New King James Version)

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

Truly, the entire world is waiting right now. We are waiting for this pandemic to be over. We are waiting for life to return to normal. We are waiting to be able to worship together, send our kids off to school, take a trip, have a nice dinner out, hug our grandchildren, and not wake up in the morning feeling afraid.

While we collectively watch for the morning, remember this: with the Lord, there is mercy. He is filled with forgiveness. With him is abundant redemption. He will redeem us. And in his Word, we do hope.

Because we are one day closer to the end of this thing.

Waiting for Morning by Michelle Robertson